Breweries Opening in the Minnesota 2017/2018

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by KarlHungus, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (2,919) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    2016 was a momentous year of brewery openings in Minnesota. Some we deemed destine for real greatness while others made us question whether or not some people should open a brewery. Most made us say, "It's alright. I'll try it again once it's been open longer."

    What do 2017 and 2018 hold in store for the Minnesota beer scene? Let's once again talk about breweries in the process of opening. Let's also talk about the quality of those breweries that opened in 2016. (Hell, one (Copper Trail Brewing in Alexandria) opened last week. I don't think we noted that in last year's thread.)
     
  2. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,591) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Minnesota Breweries in Planning circa 2017 - 2018
    Plan name followed by city name, and notes if any.

    12welve Eyes Brewing (St. Paul) -- On-track for opening in 2017.
    http://12welveeyes.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/12welveeyes/

    Alloy Brewing Company (Coon Rapids) -- On-track for opening in 2017.
    Tasting event Sunday January 15th.
    https://www.alloybrewingcompany.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/AlloyBrewingCompany/about/

    Back Channel Brewing Collective (Spring Park) -- On-track for an opening in 2017.
    https://www.backchannelbrewing.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/backchannelbrewing/

    Barrel Theory Beer Company (St. Paul) -- On-track to blow minds in 2017.
    http://barreltheory.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/barreltheory/

    Bengal Brewing, LLC. (Spring Lake Park) -- This is a very long term plan. Maybe 2020?
    https://www.bengalbrewingllc.com/

    BlackStack Brewing Company (St. Paul) -- On-track to open between 2017 and 2018.
    http://www.blackstackbrewing.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/BlackStack-Brewing-553929031418837/

    Bluenose Gopher (Granite Falls) -- Plan funded, buildout near-complete. 2017 opening?
    https://www.bluenose.coop/
    https://www.facebook.com/BluenoseGopher/about/

    Boathouse Brothers Brewing (Prior Lake)
    https://www.facebook.com/BoathouseBrothersBrewing/
    https://twitter.com/BoathouseBros

    Caps Grille (Minneapolis) -- Longterm plan to rebuild as a barbecue / microbrewery.
    http://www.capsgrille.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/capsgrille/

    Cedar Island Brewing (Albertville)
    http://www.cedarislandbrewing.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/CedarIslandBrewing/

    Chapel Brewing (Dundas) -- Progress unknown. Formerly Meetinghall / Meetinghouse.
    http://www.meetinghallbrewery.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/MeetinghallBrewery/about/

    Cosmos Brewing Company (Hugo) -- Seems on-track to open in 2017.
    http://www.cosmosbrewing.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/cosmosbrewing/about/

    Clutch Brewing Company (St. Paul) --
    http://www.clutchbeer.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/clutchbrewingcompany/

    Cuyuna Brewing (Crosby) -- appears on-track for an opening in (spring / summer) 2017.
    http://www.cuyunabrewing.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/cuyunabrewing/about/

    Finnegans (Minneapolis) -- Standalone brewery and taproom opening in 2017.
    http://finnegans.org/
    https://www.facebook.com/FinneganBeer/

    Garphish (Bethel) -- Appears to be on-track for a 2017 opening.
    https://www.facebook.com/garphishbrewing/

    Giesen Brau (New Prague) A legitimate BIP, and currently a homebrewer.
    https://www.facebook.com/GiesenbrauBierCo/

    Grillen Brewing (St. Paul) -- A legitimate BIP, and currently a homebrewer.
    http://www.grillenbrewing.com/

    Half Pint Brewing Company (Waseca) -- Appears to be on-track for a 2017 opening.
    https://www.facebook.com/Half-Pint-Brewing-Company-1428278567395030/

    Hamel Brewing Company (Hamel/Medina) -- On-track to open between 2017 and 2018.
    http://www.hamelbrewingcompany.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/hamelbrewingcompany/about/

    Headflyer Brewing (Minneapolis) -- On-track to open in 2017 (late spring or early summer)
    http://www.headflyerbrewing.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/headflyerbrewing/about/

    Hoops Brewing (Duluth) -- On track to open in 2017.
    http://hoopsbrewing.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/dontbrewscared/

    Imminent Brewing (Northfield) -- On-track to open in 2017.
    http://www.imminentbrewing.com/home/
    https://www.facebook.com/imminentbrewingnfld/

    Invictus Brewing Company (Blaine) -- On-track to open between 2017 and 2018.
    No web or social media.

    Island City Brewing (Winona -- Formerly "Levee") On track to open in 2017.
    http://islandcitybrew.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/islandcitybrew/

    Lincoln Brewery (Eyota) -- Status is unknown.
    https://www.facebook.com/TheLincolnBrewery/about/

    Loony Bin Brewing (St. Paul) -- On-track to open between 2017 and 2018.
    http://www.looneybinbrewing.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/looneybinbrewing/

    Oakhold Farmhouse Brewery (Midway Township) -- On-track to open late 2017.
    http://www.oakholdbrewery.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/oakhold/

    Pryes Brewing (Minneapolis) -- Standalone brewery is on-track to open in 2017.
    http://www.pryesbrewing.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/PryesBrewing/

    Revelation Ale Works (Hallock) -- On-track to open in 2017.
    http://www.revales.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/revelationaleworks/about/

    Roma Restaurant (Wilernie) -- Nanobrewery being added to existing restaurant.
    http://www.roman-market.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/romarestaurant/

    Shakopee Brewhall (Shakopee)
    http://shakopeebrewhall.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/shakopeebrewhall/

    Spiral Brewing (Hastings) -- BA Member. Hopes to open in 2017.
    http://spiralbrewery.com/

    St. Croix Beer Company, LLC (Stillwater) -- On-track to open between 2017 and 2018.
    http://stcroixbeer.com/

    The Stone Saloon (St. Paul) -- Along with a name change, plans to open in August 2017.
    http://www.stonesaloon.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/stonesaloonstpaul/

    Tanzenwald Brewing (Northfield) -- On-track to open in early 2017.
    http://www.tanzenwald.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/TanzenwaldBrewingCompany/

    Tilion Brewing (Cannon Falls) -- Seems on-track for a (summer) 2017 opening.
    http://tilionbrewing.com/tilion-taproom/
    https://www.facebook.com/tilionbrewing/about/

    Torg Brewery (Andover) This plan is for the northern suburbs or further out (Pine City)?
    http://www.torgbrewery.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Torg-Brewery-1539602649681285/about/

    Under Pressure Brewing Company LLC (New Hope) -- no website or social media

    Ursa Minor Brewing (Duluth) -- no website or social media

    Utepils (Minneapolis) -- Should be open within the next two or three months.
    http://utepilsbrewing.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Utepils.Brewing/

    Zurbey Brewing (Minneapolis) -- Legitimate BIP; currently a homebrewer.
    http://www.zurbeybrewing.com/

    Newer BIP (there are no names, social media, or contact information):
    - Chanhassen -- Recent listing.
    - Duluth -- Listed with a general location name (Hermantown)
    - Duluth -- Listed previously with a name in quotes ("Marathon")
    - Moorhead -- Recent listing.
    - Warroad -- Recent listing.
    - Woodbury BIP (no name) -- Recent listing.

    Notes on Potential, Stalled, and Other Plans
    Listed below are both newer and longterm plans, many with unknown status. Some appear abandoned, others may have failed to raise necessary funding, others may have had other unspecified changes in their plans or may never have had commercial intentions.
    - Three Kettles (Stillwater) No updates since 2015.
    - 8th Hour Brewing Company (Eagan) -- This is a homebrewer, only.
    - Albert Lea -- Possibly FilKano's -- Very little information.
    - The Brew Loft (Cannon Falls) No updates in almost two years. Website down.
    - Brewmasters (St. Paul) No updates in some time.
    - Cedar Grove Brewery (Eagan) -- Noted several years back. No updates. Abandoned?
    - Flynntown Brewing Co (Eden Prairie) LLC in good standing. Currently homebrewing.
    - Grainy Days Brewing -- No updates on this Colorado-to-Minnesota transplant plan.
    - Grand Rapids BIP (no name) -- BA listed this recently, likelier an earlier, scuttled plan.
    - Ladder Logic Brewing Company (Minneapolis) -- No updates in some time.
    - Local Artisan Brewery (Brainerd) Plan is indefinitely delayed. No website or social media.
    - LowerTown Brewing Company (St. Paul) Plan may be indefinitely delayed.
    - Mankato BIP (no name) -- BA has listed this for about one year.
    - Pantown Brewing (St. Cloud) Website, but no further information.
    - Rocket Tail Brewing (St. Paul) Website. Could be a Woodbury plan.
    - St. Louis River Brewing (Cloquet) -- Noted several years ago -- early name for Oakhold?
    - Twelve Down Brewing (St Louis Park) -- Maybe an early planning name?
    - Venn Brewing -- Facebook page is down, no Twitter updates in a year. Abandoned?
    - Wooden Hill Brewing Company. BA Member (no social media or other information)

    Other: Some final thoughts to keep in mind.

    - The list above includes Brewers Association data. While the BA is the singular authority on all things Craft Beer and BIP is, their datasets are seldom 100% accurate.

    - "Patience is a virtue" as the old saw has it. Before disregarding some of the above-listed plans, know that it takes several years for the average plan to pass from early stage (filing paperwork) to intermediate stage (approvals, build-out) to slinging suds and filling crowlers.
    - Craft Brewers Guild has estimated that Minnesota would have two hundred breweries, and while this number is on track it's worth remembering that not every plan reaches fruition.
     
  3. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,591) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I didn't include a few scuttled or backburnered plans. And I probably forgot some new ones. :wink:
     
  4. JakeJohnson

    JakeJohnson Initiate (118) Jan 30, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    You formatted this nicely. Cosmos is already open. They do not have a taproom, but they will start canning at some point in 2017.
     
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  5. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (136) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    Thanks Chaz! Great comprehensive list as usual ! Fair State are opening a new production facility here in St.Paul not sure I saw that listed but otherwise you got it all covered.

    Majorly excited for Barrel Theroy and Hoops Brewing to open ! Very Hopeful for Utepils and Pryes .

    Apprehensive but still keeping my fingers crossed for Blackstack to finally get finished and open! You already know this but - Can Can Wonderland just had a soft opening This weekend in the same location as Blackstack and they have a snazzy bar ! Actually they have 2 bars - check this out---motivation for Blackstack to open soon I hope.

     
    Chaz likes this.
  6. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,591) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Seeing as they've just gotten started it seemed right to add them to the list, along with established businesses (Cap's, Finnegans, St. Croix, and Roma) which are adding an in-house brewing and/or packaging capacity.
     
  7. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,591) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    In all fairness to them, they've (deservedly) received their fair share of attention in 2016, and anyone who's missed out on their plans probably wouldn't be paying attention to lil' ol' me. :sunglasses:
    To quote the ever-quotable William Jefferson Clinton: "I feel your pain."

    Aside from that, they do in fact have a great deal of motivation.

    But right now (and for the past several months or more) their obstacles and challenges have been of the licensing and approval sort, all of it "wait and see" (or wait and wait some more) stuff, rather than them being a collection of well-funded amateurs who simply aren't cognizant of the proper way to open a brewery of this scale.

    I'm not superstitious (no crossed-fingers or even black-eyed peas for the New Year) but I reckon BlackStack will be open within another couple of months -- soft opening at least. :slight_smile:
     
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  8. HeadRetention

    HeadRetention Initiate (131) Jul 13, 2015 Minnesota

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  9. mkhartnett

    mkhartnett Disciple (356) Oct 27, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    12welve Eyes Brewing (St. Paul) -- On-track for opening in 2017.

    How is this pronounced? Do you say the 12. So TwelveWelve Eyes? What a terrible name either way.
     
  10. MNBeerGeek

    MNBeerGeek Zealot (550) Jun 25, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I don't care what it is, I am only referring to it as Twelve-Welve Eyes from now on.
     
  11. Aaron8587

    Aaron8587 Initiate (114) Jan 12, 2016 Minnesota

  12. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,591) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I habitually hew to state > city name > business name -- at odds with most Craft Beer hobbyists, so I inverted my inner spreadsheet for this go-round.

    The way I actually organize looks a lot more like this:

    [​IMG]

    My personal computer(s) hate me and often give up the ghost while updating. :wink:

    For what it's worth, Utepils has several (new -- of course) brands approved, so they will hit the ground running when they open in the new year, Alt, Kolsch-style, and Hefe:

    [​IMG]

    P.S. For the sake of their bottom line I do hope that Cosmos manages to find a way to work a tasting area into their location, as they're really in a good spot to do so!
     
  13. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,591) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    They're all nice kids (I'm 50, so I can legitimately call them kids) and their beer is among the best amateur-to-Pro beer I've sampled in recent years.

    Besides: If they can swing that rooftop patio, the view will blow minds.
     
  14. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (2,919) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    It is refreshing to see a BIP paying such close attention to detail that they have their branding in place before they open. The name is great, the logo is great, the webiste looks great, and the space looks really cool.
     
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  15. Bravak

    Bravak Initiate (196) Sep 9, 2014 Minnesota

    Pardon me for the lengthy reply. I have been thinking of something about what is going on in this industry here in MN, and I am curious as to what this group knows or thinks.

    I really am curious as to how the new breweries coming on will do/survive, especially those massively leveraged. There is always the concern about new breweries knowing what they are doing beer wise, and, let's face it, quality of some of the new places popping up hasn't always been encouraging. Many of the ones slated to open seem to have that covered, however, at least from the brewing part.

    My real curiosity is around business sustainability - or bluntly, cash flow. With investment numbers of $3 million - $6+ million being thrown about, it does make me pause. Pryes mentioned $3 million for their facility, and I have heard anywhere from $5 million to $8 million for Utepils. I COULD TOTALLY BE WRONG, so please excuse me if I am. None-the-less, it's a lot of money.

    Side note - I teach/consult globally in the field of industrial economics and finance, so I come at this with a little bias (admittedly), and I also have experience in this industry from a past life, so I may not understand today's beer industry like I should.

    So take anything I ask with the largest grain of salt that you can. I am more just throwing out my own thoughts/question, and am interested in what this group thinks. This group is pretty passionate, and I am in no way trying to dog anyone or make disparaging comments about any brewery or group at all. So if I come across that way, it was not intentional.

    There are all types of talks about bubble, crashes, market saturation, etc. Many of the classic definitions do not apply to this industry. There is continued growth, although slowing, and there is little price elasticity or pressure, at least so far. What there is, however, is significant NEW production capacity, perhaps even excess capacity. Look at all the massive expansions by regional breweries, such as Lagunitas, Stone, Summit, Sierra Nevada and so forth. Now add in the local capacity growth, like we have here with Surly, Bent Paddle, Indeed, Fulton and more. Replicate that across the country. Now add in all the SKU's, brand releases, distribution pressure and new breweries who are quickly and easily getting into packaging. I have no study in front of me, but I would guess that a good, deep dive into the ability of new breweries to launch and grow would be greatly impacted versus just 3 or 4 years ago, perhaps on the magnitude of 3x-4x. Or in plain English, what we have seen Indeed, Fulton, Bent Paddle and others do here can't be replicated, or at least it is very low in probability.

    So...let's look at Utepils, only for example. I have zero knowledge other than what I have read. They have the former brewer from Summit. No idea about his ability, but I assume it's damn good. The owner only ran a home-brew type of business before....a production/packaging brewery is so much different it's hard to even classify them as the same business. So they have a learning curve, as all who are new would.

    They went and bought a very expensive brew house and cellar, and threw significant dollars into their packaging, from what I can tell. They are building a beautiful facility, with significant upgrades all over. Things like canning room, tile floors, etc...you would be shocked at how much this adds up. Floors alone could be in the $200k-$300k range, not including cement and foundation work. Mechanical alone could run $500k to $750k. They also had delays due to issues with the building and ground (if I understand correctly), which is more money. They are delayed, which is more $$$, and they seem to have a significant infrastructure invested. All awesome things to make it a wonderful place. But let's look at it from a business perspective.

    Let's make some assumptions. Again, assumptions.

    Let's assume that the total cost to open is $5.5 million. I think it might be more, but let's stick with $5.5 million. This includes not only equipment and build-out, but significant inventory to start production, working capital for salaries, etc. They traveled across the pond, have looked to spend quite a bit on the marketing ramp up already. Architects can go for $200k, GC's for 5% of build-out costs, and so on. New sprinklers needed? The build-out costs can be massive. Let's assume that they raised $2.5 million. That leaves $3 million to finance. Plus, $2.5 million raised doesn't come free. More on that later.

    So, for brevity, let's assume the following monthly costs (I know many of the general costs associated with a brewery of this size from my past life - I worked at good size brewery out West):
    • Lease + CAM/Tax - $25k-$30k month. Could be more if they rolled in TI.
    • Utilities - $10k
    • Operating Expenses Tap Room - $10k
    • Operating Expenses Production - $15k
    • Salaries/Taxes/Unemployment/Workers Comp for non-owners - $50k
    • Debt Service - $32k
    • SGA/Marketing - $10k
    • Tax Liabilities - $10k
    Ok - so add that up and we are $165k, give or take. This does not include working capital, COGS, etc. Just a baseline of costs. I'll come back to that number.

    Now - take the tap room. I think some people are surprised at the $'s done through tasting rooms, or tap rooms as they are called here. The BA and other economic publications have averages per locations, per seat, etc. But let's say that Utepils does way above average. Average is about 400 barrels per year, or $400k. That number may surprise some, because you've walked into Dangerous Man or Indeed on a Saturday. But, it takes a LOT of pints to make up dollar volume. There are many many more options now than when they launched, and if you research state and federal figures, you can see what volume tap rooms do. But. let's say for the moment that Utepils does more than Dangerous Man did their first 2 years. So let's say they do 1000 bbls, 2.5 times the expected average. That's $1 million dollars in tasting room sales, an exceptional figure for tasting rooms, unless you are Stone or Surly and have a destination theme (and years of brand equity).

    So that leaves a monthly hole of $65k, let's call it.

    Now, I am not even getting into other costs, especially COGS, sales commissions, promotional costs ($2000 for each box of 100 tap handles for example) so it could be more, but let's stay with $65k.

    The average production brewery of Utepils nature makes about $50 a barrel net. Could be more, could be less, but the costs are quite large, especially allocated costs. These include cooperage, licensing, brand registration, holding costs, shipping costs, working capital tied up, an so forth. Often the net fall through is less than $50, especially if distro is involved. However, if no distro, the margins may SEEM better, but now you have to hire delivery drivers, buy/lease a truck or 2 or 3, and so on. So let's stick with $50.

    Under this very loose analysis, Utepils would have to sell an additional 1,300 bbls a month through non-tap room sales, or almost 16,000 bbls a year of retail, bar, restaurant sales!

    And there is the rub - how the heck in today's market can ANY new brewery get to that level in a time frame that works? That is a LOT of volume for a new brewery. And the general public has no idea who Eric Harper is, or the connection to Summit. Even so, the noise in the market, the bottleneck of SKU's, the overloaded distro, the immense pressure by regionals to grow to fill that NEW CAPACITY (do not underestimate that) is as crazy as I have ever seen it in almost any industry. How in the world will Utepils get to those levels? All local breweries are trying to expand, new ones are coming on, regionals are continuing to push into this market, and so forth. And the overall beer market is not growing, and craft growth is slowing.

    Now, throw in the upcoming pricing pressures that ALWAYS follow overcapacity in manufacturing, and Utepils may need to get to 20k bbls annually. And remember, in my costs I did not include ownership salaries or payment, nor upgrades and equipment maintenance, batch dumping, etc.. What happens when minority investors want their return? I am not sure anyone is going to be happy with free beer for $20k/$40k or more of invested money.

    This is, from my opinion, and only speaking for myself, the absolute worst time to start a production brewery. The trends mirror so many historical examples in other industries, from steel to electronics, it's frightening.

    So - sorry for the ramble. And again, I am only using Utepils as an example, and I could be drastically wrong on some of my numbers. That is the sad thing....they seem to be doing everything right, at exactly the worse possible moment.

    What is your thoughts? The economic data clearly shows that the beer market is flat, and that craft growth is slowing. And no study is needed to show the amount of new breweries, production capacity and SKU's is mind blowing.

    Cheers all. Thanks for putting up with the lengthy reply above.
     
    #15 Bravak, Jan 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  16. holzwama

    holzwama Initiate (192) Aug 27, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I agree, mostly. I'd rather see smaller breweries open up focus on the beer and a small space. I think most that open now need to be in the right location. What I mean is every small town is getting it's own brewery. Townspeople will drink up their mediocre beer and they will do fine. It's the thought of a new brewery spending millions because they think they are going to be the next surly that gets them in trouble in my opinion.
    I'm all for start small, do bottle sales, slowly built/ buy your own equipment to become bigger. It's not bad being small.
    I like Steel Toe, the are small and I'm sure do well. Same with many others. Seems these large places have a lot to prove and often fall short on the beer. After all, they are a brewery...
     
  17. surfninja

    surfninja Initiate (115) Oct 21, 2015 Minnesota

    Utepils has location helping them. I know a few people in the area that are excited to have a brewery there. The name isn't easy to pronounce for joe six-pak but probably won't hurt them.

    Tap room can be the cash cow for a brewery. Look at Dangerous man on a Saturday. Nice tap room and good location should help a lot.

    Other breweries like Stone Saloon with a small tap room and next to Bad Weather might need other factors to draw in crowds (civil war/history buffs). My guess they will self distribute only have off-site taps to help draw in customers to the tap room.

    I believe every neighborhood needs a good brewery. Maybe 400-500 bbl annual production. If they can align their cash flow around this size, they should be successful.
     
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  18. mkhartnett

    mkhartnett Disciple (356) Oct 27, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I'd agree. In the magical world where I would be willing and able to start a brewery I'd want to go t hat route. Like Steel toe or Dangerous Man. Start small. Tap room focused maybe a little more. Expand slowly. The problem I wonder, is that possible now. Especially the closer you are to Minneapolis or St. Paul. Would you just get lost in the mix? As noted, small town breweries can survive better with mediocre beer. I don't think that'd pass in the cities. But, places like Wild Minds seem to be doing pretty well on some really solid beer but still small.
     
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  19. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (2,919) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    612 and Eastlake are making consistently flawed beer, and they both seem to be doing well. There are people with bad taste everywhere.
     
  20. nogophers

    nogophers Aspirant (255) Jun 28, 2011 Minnesota

    A lot of interesting points, but I think your $5mm+ cost estimate is way off. Unless they're buying a building, I can't envision a start up production brewery having initial costs over $2mm.
     
  21. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,497) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I can't like this post enough, & I've been preaching this for a couple of years. Most people drinking 'craft' aren't neck-deep in the rabbit hole like most of us, they're just looking for something with more flavor that Michelob. These breweries with flaws so obvious to many of us are just one more flavor of craft beer to a lot of people (including plenty of people I know).
     
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  22. iRun2Beer

    iRun2Beer Savant (950) Jan 27, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    612 has baffled me for years, I don't know how they can stay successful. I've had a few beers there I would call average, the rest were well below average, or flawed. It's in a prime location, even though it's less than 3 blocks from 3 other breweries who all make better beer.

    Eastlake could probably survive solely off their location even if their beer never improves. I've had some awful beer there, but all the awesome food options in the Midtown Global Market bring me back at least once a year.

    Another one is Lakes & Legends. They had a really really rough start. I haven't been back since, but heard they've made huge improvements (someone else would need to verify). Again...the location is amazing and even while going through their rough start they didn't seem to have any shortage of customers.

    Canal Park is another example. Great location...sub par beer, but they seem to be doing OK. I don't think a brewery could fail in Canal Park honestly (but we'll soon find out if it can sustain two...).

    As others have said, I think location is the biggest contributing factor for new brewery success right now. At least in urban areas like the Twin Cities. Other really good breweries in smaller areas will obviously be just fine like Disgruntled and Junkyard to name a few, and perhaps rural areas can sustain subpar breweries because their residents don't have any better options (or don't know better options exist).

    We've been talking about the "craft beer" bubble for quite some time, and while the lengthy post above stated that craft beer growth has slowed, I don't think we need to worry about the bubble bursting anytime soon. But perhaps, at least in the Twin Cities, we're experiencing a taproom bubble?
     
  23. SudsSavant

    SudsSavant Aspirant (228) Jan 9, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Rye IPA + Sour Patch Kid flavoring = profit
     
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  24. iRun2Beer

    iRun2Beer Savant (950) Jan 27, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    FTFY :wink:
     
  25. JakeJohnson

    JakeJohnson Initiate (118) Jan 30, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    When I went to Lakes and Legends in December, I didn't have anything that convinced me that they had improved since their opening. They are on my watchlist along with Clockwerks. Clockwerks is in an even more crowded location and had an arguably more disastrous opening than L&L. They recently hired a real brewer, so I expect they will at least improve their quality in the coming months. Even if quality improves, their beer lineup is generic styles that provide them with no differentiation.
     
    iRun2Beer likes this.
  26. morimech

    morimech Poo-Bah (2,897) Nov 6, 2006 Minnesota

    The cost I heard for Waconia Brewing was $1.25 million (I heard this second hand FWIW). They lease their space.
     
  27. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,434) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    Regarding Utepils I'm not familiar with that part of Minneapolis that much. Is that a decent area? Where does it get sketchy in north Minneapolis?
     
  28. Chumley22

    Chumley22 Initiate (136) Sep 28, 2013 Minnesota

    I haven't been to 612 in quite a while but I have to respectively disagree about Eastlake- I have never had anything I would consider sub-par and flip side, many that I thought were very good! Dank Aaron for one, is a very good DIPA that I have enjoyed very much and I know a lot of people don't go for the style but their double black IPA on now (2nd anniversary offering), I think is excellent.
     
  29. JakeJohnson

    JakeJohnson Initiate (118) Jan 30, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I didn't see it mentioned before, but Utepils got all of their licenses just before the new year and brewed their first batch on Wednesday. They are scheduled to pour at the Winter Beer Dabbler on February 4th. I guess they can start paying off that $5.5 million of debt.
     
    Chaz and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  30. dbhammel

    dbhammel Aspirant (248) Oct 24, 2016 Minnesota
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Agreed, granted it's a single data point but I saw a late version business plan from Bauhaus and it suggested they opened for just about $2 mm. I'd be shocked if Utepils and those like it are investing $4-$5+ mm to open.
     
  31. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,434) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    I've only been to Eastlake once about a year ago but thought they were decent enough at the time.
     
  32. surfninja

    surfninja Initiate (115) Oct 21, 2015 Minnesota

    L&L was packed Thursday night. Took a while to get a beer. Location and taproom.

    The last time I was at Eastlake, the fruit flies where attacking me and the beer tasted like beer line cleaner. I haven't been back.
     
    JakeJohnson likes this.
  33. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,591) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

  34. HammsMeASAP

    HammsMeASAP Initiate (66) Jun 14, 2012 Minnesota

    Utepils,

    a Pilsner, Alt and Kolsch?

    Yes, please.
     
    Josholson666 likes this.
  35. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (2,919) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I"m all for breweries making those styles as long as they're using German malt, German hops, and German yeast. Unfortunately, this is almost never the case with American brewers, and what they end up making is an India Pale Pilsner/Alt/Kolsch. The quickest way for a brewery to lose me as a costumer is to claim to brew traditional European styles, but instead brew bastardized, over hopped versions of those styles. I hope Utepils bucks this trend, but my experience tells me not to hold by breathe.
     
    HammsMeASAP and ZAP like this.
  36. TheBasedElliot

    TheBasedElliot Initiate (50) Aug 5, 2016 Minnesota

    I've sat down with Dan and can say with certainty that project is now north of $4 million. He's known from the beginning there's still room in our market for a brewery of their intended caliber and props to him for successfully pouncing on it.
     
    gatornation, JakeJohnson and Chaz like this.
  37. dbhammel

    dbhammel Aspirant (248) Oct 24, 2016 Minnesota
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Cool, I don't pretend to know more than I do, I'm excited to get in there and see what they can do. Well made German beers are right up there with some of my favorites.
     
  38. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,434) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    I could not agree more. I got excited when Bauhaus opened with a seemingly german lager like slant....but it is just all americanized like you state....not saying it is bad but I just would appreciate someone other than Schells (which is great) doing some true German style beers. To be honest I think Fulton Standard is a kickass vienna style lager....really loving that beer.
     
    feloniousmonk likes this.
  39. surfninja

    surfninja Initiate (115) Oct 21, 2015 Minnesota

    It is tough getting the 'German style' malt profile from any American base malt in a single step infusion mash schedule. German hops and yeast are pretty easy to use but unless the brewer knows how to use German malt, American malts will be the choice ('just add water, stir and it is converted').

    BSG does sell Weyermann German malt but it might be more expensive than Rahr (WAG - haven't looked at the price sheet). Without a bit of brewing process magic, using slightly under modified pils malt, local craft breweries will have a better chance to mimic those German styles.
     
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